New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

The Problem of Red Light Cameras and Personal Injury Cases  

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 in Car Accidents

Red light cameras at intersections are causing many problems to drivers. When you are approaching an intersection and the traffic light suddenly turns yellow, what do you do? Well, you have two options. One is to accelerate and go through the intersection, or suddenly come to a stop. However, both these options are risky, at intersections with red light cameras.

Traffic Lights

Faulty traffic lights can cause a serious accident at an intersection.

When you suddenly step on your brakes or stop short, you risk being hit from behind, since the vehicle behind may not stop in time. On the other hand, if you accelerate and rush through the intersection, the camera will automatically record you for running a red light and you will be getting a ticket. At many intersections, the duration of yellow light is very small, and the driver is never able to get through the intersection before the light turns red. The camera immediately kicks into action and records the positions of the vehicle, when the light turned yellow and when it turned red. This clearly shows the traffic violation and puts the driver in a spot.

Tough Choices

The driver runs the risk of a rear end collision, if he slams on the brake, and on the other hand, he is caught for traffic violation if he tries to go through. Secondly, if the driver is hit from behind, he does not stand a decent chance at claiming compensation for a personal injury or for damage to his vehicle. This is because, the driver of the vehicle behind, will have a formidable defense that the car in front stopped short, which did not provide enough time for him to come to a halt.

States are Desperate for more Revenue

This problem of red light camera has been affecting many motorists, especially taxi drivers. However, these cameras are still being installed at intersections by area authorities, since it generates some additional income, since they can charge fines for the traffic violations. Most drivers consider this a money spinning strategy by the authorities, as these cameras are not providing any solution to the problem, and simply fines the motorist when he does not actually have much of an option. If the motorist does not run the red light, there are fantastic chances of being hit from behind, and the other driver will have a good defense against personal injury or vehicle damage claims made by the driver who has suffered the rear impact to his vehicle.

The Other Side of the Coin

The town authorities claim that these red light cameras are a safety device, since it deters motorists from running red lights. On the other hand, motorists claim these cameras to be money-generating devices meant for filling up the coffers of the traffic authorities. In all this, motorists are in a quandary, as they do not know what they should do at intersections with red light cameras. Either they will get a ticket for running a red light or they will have to struggle through a trial for claiming personal injury cases and vehicle damage. The best option would be to consult an experienced attorney, who can help you take the best course of action.

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